The Inside Story in this case is the wealth of amazing text to be found inside old issues of Century Magazine.
Century Magazine was a general interest magazine published 1881-1930 with a cover price of 35 cents. In size and format it’s similar to other magazines of the period such as Harper’s Monthly and the Atlantic Monthly. Century actually existed prior to 1881 under the title Scribner’s Monthly, which is ran as from the November 1870 issue through to October 1881, then taking the name of Century without missing a beat, with the November 1881 issue.
You can find a complete archive of contents of both Century Magazine and it’s earlier incarnation as Scribner’s Monthly at the Making of America collection at the Cornell University Library online. The Making of America archives only run through 1899, so I am working to include latter issues on my magawiki site.
What I wanted to do here, in order to show you how amazing some of these issues were, was include contents of some issues I has in my possession back when I originally posted this. Here are the highlights:
- The Making of a Museum by Ernest Ingersoll
- The Rise of Silas Lapham — Part 3 — by William Dean Howells
- Part 2 of 3 of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” — First Printing Anywhere — Part 2 is “Jim’s Investments and King Sollermun” by Mark Twain
- A Florentine Mosaic — Part 1 by William Dean Howells
- The Bostonians — Part 1 by Henry James
- Part 3 of 3 of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” — First Printing Anywhere — Part 3 is “Royalty on the Mississippi” by Mark Twain
- The Rise of Silas Lapham — Part 4 by William Dean Howells
- The Battle of Shiloh by Ulysses S. Grant
- Plantation Memories by Joel Chandler Harris
- A Florentine Mosaic — Second Paper by William Dean Howells
- Phases of State Legislation by Theodore Roosevelt
- The Rise of Silas Lapham — Part 6 by William Dean Howells
- The Bostonians — Part 3 by Henry James
- The Training of the Human Plant by Luther Burbank
- Lincoln the Lawyer — Part 6 of 6 — by Frederick Trevor Hill with pictures from photographs, documents, and ambrotype
- Tatra — A Mountain Region Between Galicia and Hungary by Wladyslaw T. Benda (W.T. Benda) with pictures by the author
- The Negro and the South — by Harry Stillwell Edwards
- Frontispiece: The Sweet Girl Graduate – Drawing in Color by Howard Chandler Christy
- Vesuvius in Fury — Causes and Characteristics of the Great Eruption of April, 1906 by William P. Andrews with pictures from pastels by Charles Caryl Coleman (two in color) and from photographs, and map
- Heroic San Francisco — A Woman’s Story of the Pluck and Heroism of the People of the Striken City — by Louise Herrick Wall with Drawings in pastel by C. Dormon Robinson (one in color)
- The Future of San Francisco — Plan of the Proposed New City — by Benjamin Ide Wheeler
- To San Francisco by S.J. Alexander
Pretty incredible stuff, no? I post this to make you more aware of Century Magazine in general, a lot of the items mentioned above caught me by complete surprise when I was paging through. Some I knew of, the Twain for instance, but Henry James was an unexpected bonus. “The Rise of Silas Lapham,” well I read that in college a few years back, it’s a classic!